The Bureau of Land Management approved Noble Energy Inc.’s plans for oil and gas exploration in Elko County, Nevada, an area that is home to a greater sage grouse population. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering designating the greater sage grouse an endangered species. Those who oppose a list of the species contend that this move would hurt agricultural activity and energy development in the state. In particular, Nevada ranchers fear that this would cause further limitations on grazing on public lands.
BLM officials have reported that there “will not be significant impact to sage grouse” because of the drilling, according to the Associated Press. Noble plans to drill no more than 20 wells on what is a mixture of private and public land.